by Larry Neild LONDON United Kingdom (Xinhua) --
British lawmakers on Tuesday voted down Prime Minister Theresa May’s
revised Brexit deal again in the House of Commons by a margin of 149
After a day-long debate in the parliament chamber,
lawmakers voted by 391 to 242 to reject the "improved" deal May
presented after her last-minute talks with the European Union (EU)
in Strasbourg, France.
It was the second time MPs have rejected May’s deal, but in the
first vote in January she lost by a massive margin of 230, the
biggest ever defeat in British political history.
May, tired and struggling to talk with a soar throat, faced a
crowded chamber in the House of Commons to urge MPs to back her
She won a series of legally binding changes to her original deal
on Monday night, and had hoped she had done enough in late night
talks with the EU to get her deal through the British parliament.
Her hopes were shattered Tuesday when the government’s attorney
general, Geoffrey Cox, told MPs the legal risk of Britain being tied
to the EU after Brexit "remained unchanged".
He said new assurances secured by May in crunch talks with
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker did reduce the
risk that Britain could be indefinitely and involuntarily detained
in a backstop arrangement the EU has insisted upon to avoid a hard
border on the island of Ireland.
After the meaningful parliamentary vote, the prime minister said,
"I profoundly regret the decision that this House has taken
"I continue to believe that by far the best outcome is that the
UK leaves the EU in an orderly fashion with a deal, and that the
deal we have negotiated is the best and indeed the only deal
available," May said.
"Tonight we will table a motion for debate tomorrow to test
whether the House supports leaving the European Union without a deal
on 29th March," she said.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said that May’s Brexit deal is
He told the parliament that the prime minister has "run down the
clock, and the clock has been run down on her".
The crunch vote, which started at 1900 GMT, took place after
members of the European Research Group (ERG), a main faction within
May’s Conservative Party, and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP),
which props up May’s minority government, rejected her deal in spite
of several changes secured on Monday night.
The ERG said changes secured by the prime minister in Strasbourg
on Monday did not deliver sufficient legally binding changes to the
Irish backstop, and did not provide an exit mechanism over which
Britain had control.
The DUP also voted against her deal.
A spokesman for the party said earlier Tuesday that "having
carefully considered the published material, it is clear that the
risks remain that the UK would be unable to lawfully exit the
backstop were it to be activated."
With Britain scheduled to leave the EU on March 29, the fate of
Brexit now hangs in the balance, though MPs have been promised a
vote on Wednesday on whether they want to rule out a no-deal option.
British politicians have also been told that they will have a
vote on Thursday on whether to seek an extension of the departure
Immediately after the vote outcome was announced, Corbyn even
went a step further by calling for a general election.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal rejected by
LONDON United Kingdom (Xinhua) --
British Prime Minister Theresa
May’s Brexit deal was rejected again on Tuesday by MPs in the second
meaningful vote in the parliament since January, increasing
uncertainty about how the country will leave the European Union.
MPs voted against May’s revised EU withdrawal agreement by 391 to
242, another heavy defeat since Jan. 15, when MPs rejected May’s
Brexit deal by a margin of 230.
The voting started at around 1900 GMT, with the prime minister
heading for a defeat.
A hoarse prime minister, who was carrying on her last-ditch
battle to save her Brexit deal just hours before the crunch vote,
failed to win over the ERG, a major faction within her Conservative
The United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union on
May’s Brexit deal was voted down on Jan. 15 in the heaviest
parliamentary defeat of any British prime minister in the modern
"I profoundly regret the decision this house has taken," May told
lawmakers in a short speech right after the voting.
She added that the choices facing Britain were "unenviable", but
because of the rejection of her deal. "They are choices that must be
faced," she said.
May has secured legally binding changes to the deal on Monday
night, but rebel lawmakers of her Conservative Party and those from
the opposition Labour Party had said that these changes were not
enough to persuade MPs to back the agreement reached by London and
Brussels in November 2018 after years of painful negotiations.
"The reality is that nothing has changed," Jeremy Corbyn, the
leader of Labour Party, said in the parliament.
"Not one single word was changed."
Corbyn said the Labour party put forward the idea of "remain and
reform" in the referendum campaign.
With her Brexit deal rejected again in the parliament, the prime
minister then faces a possible defeat on a second vote on Wednesday
to prevent a no-deal Brexit on March 29, and a third vote on
Thursday to extend the Article 50 divorce process, likely until the
end of June.
Minister Theresa May secures 'legally
binding' changes to Brexit deal ahead of a key vote